Boulevard of Broken Dreams
As she was trying on several clothes in the changing room, a sudden realization came to Emma. 'How does he expect me to pay for these clothes when I haven't even gotten paid yet? Or maybe...does he plan on lending me the money until I do get paid.' That would be a nice thing to do-assuming that it was true. Then again…
'Don't guys usually buy clothes as gifts for the girls they're dating, or want to date? If he actually is willing to lend me the money, then maybe…' Could it be possible that...? Could Kakashi...? 'NO! There's no way! Who could like me? Let alone wanna date me? There's no possible way! I'm just a friend to him, defiantly NOT a love interest!' It was a nice thought though, even if it was impossible. Sure, Kakashi was way cute and Emma would give almost anything to have someone like him as her first boyfriend, but she knew better. She had seen the girls that Kakashi liked, and she looked nothing like them. That meant that the only two possible reasons for Kakashi bringing her here was either:
1-He didn't know Emma was flat broke and thought she had the money to pay for the clothes.
2-He wanted to lend her the money for the new clothes as symbol of their friendship.
But which was it? There was only one way to find out.
"Ah...Kakashi, how am I gonna pay for these clothes?" No answer. 'That's strange, I could've sworn he was right…' "Kakashi?" she asked, peeking out the curtain slightly. The site that greeted her caused Emma's eyes to practically bulge out of their sockets.
"So how do these look, Kakashi-kun?" an extremely sexy woman clad in revealing lingerie asked as she sat on the scarecrow's lap, stroking a rather apparent bulge in his pants.
"They…uh, um…Great! They look just great!" Kakashi stammered, blushing slightly. He quickly backed away from her.
'Okay… I didn't need, nor want, to see THAT!' Emma thought disgustedly. If nothing else, that affirmed her belief that nothing romantic could ever happen between her and the jounin. So, changing quickly back into her own clothes, Emma decided to leave the store so that she wouldn't disturb the two lovebirds as they "enjoyed" themselves. "I'll, uh...see you later Kakashi." Emma stated, adverting her eyes and waving goodbye as she left the store.
"Yeah, sure thi-" Enter the sudden realization that the woman he thinks he's in love with is now leaving, in 3...2...1... "WAIT!" Kakashi yelled, pushing the woman off his lap and running after Emma.
"Wait? For what?" Emma asked, turning around. "It's apparent that I'm just being a third wheel back there, so why don't you go back to your little slu-I mean-girlfriend, before she gets upset and leaves." His girlfriend? Is that what she thought? Then again, with the way he was acting in there he could understand how she'd take it that way. What with the scantly clad girl massaging his member he could't really help but react unconsciously. It wasn't intentional. He had no interest in her.…Boy, he really made a mess of this, didn't he?
Kakashi shook his head, "She's not my girlfriend."
"Girlfriend, lover, friend with benefits, whatever…" she shrugged as she turned around to leave, only to bump right into the scarecrow's chest. 'I really wish he wouldn't do that.'
"She's none of those, I swear!"
Stopping, Emma sighed. "Not to be rude, but why do you even care what I think? I mean, it's not like it has anything to do with me, so why should I care? It's your life, do with it what you will. Not to imply that I don't care about what happens to you-'cuz I do. You're one of the coolest people I've ever met, you know? I meant was, well…"
Good, so she wasn't pissed with him. Kakashi smiled. "The important thing is that I came here with you, not her. It was kinda rude of me to just ignore you when it was my idea to come here to begin with." Jeez, this whole confessing his feelings thing was harder then he thought, and it wasn't going to get easier if he kept messing up like that!
"Assuming that was an apology, you're forgiven." Emma smiled. "Just answer this-how was I to pay for the clothes anyways? Not that you would've known, but I haven't gotten paid yet."
"I know, I was gonna buy them for you as a gift."
Emma's eyes sparkled. "You mean, because we're friends?"
Kakashi looked down at her, slightly perplexed at what to say. "Uhh…yeah, sure." No sooner were those words spoken when Emma tackled the scarecrow in a bear-hug, squealing happily. Head pounding from the fall, Kakashi blushed furiously as he held her around the waist, taking the opportunity to smell her hair as she lay atop him. If he'd known buying her clothes would make her THIS happy, he would've done so sooner.
Unlocking the door to the apartment, Emma gestured for Kakashi to set the bags he'd offered to carry upon the one living room chairs. "Thanks a lot for the clothes, and for carrying them here." Emma smiled, switching on the lights. "I know you said they were a gift, but I still wanna pay you back."
"I don't want your money."
Emma shrugged, "Okay, then something else then?"
"Like what?" Kakashi asked, eyebrow raised as he watched her carry the bags into the bedroom. Hey, a guy could dream, couldn't he?
"How about you stay for dinner?" Damn. Oh well…
"If you insist."
"Good then, it's settled." Emma smiled as she emerged from the bedroom. The entire meal was spent talking about Kakashi's missions and Emma's job. Not exactly what the scarecrow had in mind, but Emma had beat him to starting the conversation. So, still unsure how precisely vocalize his feelings, he conceded and resorted to playing twenty questions. After dinner he offered to help with the dishes. "Thanks, but it's okay, really. You don't have to."
Kakashi shook his head, "I know I don't, but I want to." That said he took the dishes from Emma and put them into the sink, pouring in the soap and water. "I'll wash if you rinse."
Slightly caught off guard, Emma stood there blinking for a second before answering. "I guess, if you insist." Once again Kakashi was at loss of how to go about confessing his feelings. Should he just come out and say it? Or should he see how she felt first? Feeling uneasy within their silence, Emma asked Kakashi about how he got Pakkun to talk human. Thus continued their previous conversation.
Meanwhile, all throughout the meaningless task of cleaning the dishes the two kept bumping into one another and touching the other subtly and innocently. After all, when two people are doing the dishes together they are in very close proximity and therefore can't avoid the inevitable brush here and there. Nevertheless each time this happened it sent a small tingle coursing through the two, as a lasting impression of the other's touch burned into the other's skin.
"So then, I guess I'll see you tomorrow?" Emma stated as she set the last dish in the drying rack.
"I guess so, good night." Kakashi nodded as he made himself comfy on the couch.
"What are you doing?"
"Getting ready for bed, what does it look like?"
Emma stared at the scarecrow. "No shit Sherlock-I know that, I'm not as stupid as I look. What I meant was, why are you sleeping here? Your apartment is down the hall."
"I'm your guard, remember?" Kakashi smiled. Ugh, not this again. The shinobi never gave up, did he?
"Fine, sleep there if you insist." Emma huffed. "But I highly doubt anybody is actually going to take me away, who'd want me?"
"Who wouldn't?" he smirked. Did the scarecrow say such things intentionally to embarrass her? Did he enjoy seeing her face turn a million shades of red as her eyes bugged out? It sure seemed like it! It was almost as if it was job! Or so Emma thought.
"Yes, well…good night." Emma stuttered before rushing to the bedroom, closing the door swiftly behind her.
'What was I thinking earlier?' Ever since Emma had gone to sleep all Kakashi could do was to keep going back over the events of the day. How could he have gotten so distracted by the woman, when she meant nothing to him? Could it be that he was so weak he couldn't control his body's unconscious impulses? 'Or maybe…?'
Maybe the feeling he thought he had weren't what he construed them to be? Maybe his first impression was right, maybe it was just infatuation? 'No, I won't believe it.' He'd been infatuated many times before, he knew what it felt like. Somehow, he knew, this feeling was different. But then, why did he allow that strange woman to do that? If he honestly did love Emma then he would have slapped her hand away, she should be the only one he ever looked at. She should've been the only woman he ever thought about, the only one to turn him on. Well, at least that's what he thought, according to Jiraiya's novels. So then, why did he let her get away with touching him?
After hours of contemplating the scarecrow final came to a conclusion. He would try his best to forget about Emma and his romantic feelings for her, and then he would go back to his missions, Icha Icha books, and bottles of hand lotion. If what he was feeling actually was infatuation then he would get over Emma and move on. If however he couldn't forget her, if he couldn't move on, then he would know once and for all that it was love.
That morning Emma woke up to something she didn't expect-Maito Gai hovering over her, merely an inch from her face. "ACK!" she yelled, startled at his sudden close proximity. Even though he was a jounin, Gai was shocked by her sudden outburst and went flying backwards; as a result the contents of his hands a bowl and glass were sent flying into the air. "Holy fuck'n shit, what the hell are you doing here?!" Swiftly catching the falling objects, Gai caught the bowl and glass with great ease. The bowl consisted of oatmeal, eggs, and bacon-the eggs and bacon forming a smiley face atop the oatmeal.
"No need to fear, Konoha's Green Beast is here to watch over you!" Gai smiled, placing the bowl and cup of juice on the nightstand.
"Where's Kakashi?" Not that she didn't appreciate the breakfast in bed, still…
"He will no longer be your guard, instead you shall have none other then myself to keep an eye on you and protect you from the forces of evil."
"Lucky me." Emma smiled sarcastically, trying her best no to look Gai directly in his face for fear of being blinded by his gleaming teeth. Did he clean those things with some kind of bleach-polish?
"When you're done eating I've taken the liberty of pouring your bubble bath."
Gai smiled. "When your done with that I should have your clothes laying out here for you."
"My clothes…, you're picking them out?"
"Next I've planned for us to work out in woods together, followed by a picnic and then-"
"Hold on a minute Jeeves." Emma stated, gulping down her juice. "Your orders were to protect me, right?"
Gai nodded happily. "Yes, but I would do so gladly even if it weren't my mission."
"Thanks. Anyways, not that I don't appreciate it, but at no time was I told that you would be my butler. The attention is kinda flattering, and the breakfast was good too-as good as oatmeal could possibly be, but if you don't mind I think I shall be the one to decide what I do and don't do today, okay?"
"So then, you didn't like the oatmeal?" he asked, looking slightly dejected.
Emma deadpanned. "I don't like oatmeal, no-but I ate it for you, okay?" The jounin apparently took it to mean that she liked him as his face turned red and his smile glistened brighter then ever. Smiling back faintly, Emma got up and went to take the bath he'd prepared. 'I guess it'd be rude to let it go to waste, after all he did go through all that trouble.'
Stepping into the bathroom, Emma's jaw dropped. Candles, flower petals, and incense decorated the bathroom. 'What in the…?' "Uh…thanks?" Emma stated, waving at Gai and closing the door behind her. 'Not that he would, but maybe I should lock the door-just in case?'
What on earth possessed Gai to do this? It was all too much. Nice, but still…it was kinda freaky the way he looked at her, and all the attention he gave her. Emma wasn't use to being treated like this, not in the least, and quite frankly she didn't know how to handle all this. 'Let's just hope he doesn't end up like one of those psycho-stalker-killers in the movies.' She shuddered at that thought as she sank into the warm bath water. 'Still, a girl could get use to this.'
"Did Em-chan like the breakfast and bubble bath, Gai-sensei?" Rock Lee asked. As Gai's most prominent and trusted student, Lee was asked if he could help take care of Emma. Not one to disappoint his sensei, and hoping to get some useful advice he could with Sakura, Lee readily agreed. Neji and Tenten, however, declined their sensei's offer to help him.
"Affirmative my star pupil, our mission so far is a great success!" Gai proclaimed, giving a thumbs-up and flashing one of his blinding smiles.
"All right, time for stage two!"
"Negative, Lee. I'm afraid that my little Em-chan doesn't wish to train or have a picnic."
"What?! But I worked so hard preparing your ideas!"
"I know Lee, but every great man knows never to force a woman to do something she doesn't want to do, it only leads to trouble. Besides, her unpredictable ways and spontaneous attitude are two of the many reasons I admire Em-chan so."
"Gai-sensei, how could any woman not want to be with you? You're so awesome!"
"I know, and with my eternal rival-Kakashi-now out of the way there is nobody left to challenge me in winning Em-chan's heart!"
"Victory will be ours!" Gai and Lee chanted simultaneously, posing like some ninja version of the Ginyu squad.
It had now been about two months since Gai took over for Kakashi in guarding Emma and she'd just about had enough of the jounin.
'Annoying pain-in-the-ass stalker is more like it!' If she wasn't being bombarded with stories of how great the Green Beast was, turning down his relentless requests to take a walk and check out some romantic hot-spot, or rejecting his countless offers for help in even the most mundane tasks, then she was listening to yet another analogy about how beautiful she was. Now it's not like Emma didn't enjoy the occasional compliment or two, but the shinobi took it a little too far. If nothing else Gai was blindly persistent. 'On the up-side Chii is FINALLY being released tomorrow!'
As for the infamous copy ninja, his time was spent on trying to return to activities before Emma's arrival. Training, missions with his team, and the occasional alone-time with his Icha-Icha collection. At first no matter what he did Kakashi's thoughts would find their way back to her, but over time such thoughts were suppressed and eventually forgotten.
"So, how long do you plan on hiding there, Master Jiraiya?"
"I dunno, how long have you been avoiding that woman?" Jiraiya replied, leaving his spot to stand next to Kakashi.
"I've been observing some rather interesting changes in your behavior the past few days I've been here." Jiraiya stated. "The increase in away missions, your recurring absence from Genki, the way you change the topic every time SHE'S mentioned, and the obvious fact that you seem to be avoiding her like the plague. I have to say, I never imagined you to fall for the homely type."
Kakashi closed his book, cocking his eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"Well, it's not like I blame you." the Pervy Sage smirked. "This Em-chan has her own, shall we say, uniquely charming personality. If I didn't know better I'd think she were Tsunade's daughter or something. And even though she isn't the optimum of what I'd call sexy, she does have a certain…"
"A certain what?" the scarecrow interjected.
Jiraiya smiled. "Oh, you know exactly what I mean. Just look…" Kakashi looked in the direction that was indicated, finding Em-chan laughing at something Taku had said as he helped her unload some boxes outside the bar. Emma had managed to lose Gai by saying she had to use the restroom then climbing out the back window. Taku seemed rather close and Emma was obviously enjoying his company.
"What about it?" the jounin questioned, a tad perturbed.
"See, that's what I mean!" smiled Jiraiya. "Even now you seem to be slightly jealous that another man shows interest in her."
Kakashi looked at the sanin with supposed fake interest. "Is that so?"
"You'd have to be blind or stupid not to notice the signs."
"Well for starters there's the increase in heart rate, the scent of raging hormones, the subtle changes in your posture, and the fact that you've yet to draw your sight away from her figure. I may not be a med-nin or Hyuuga, but I can notice the subtle signs that indicate when a person is in love. How else do you think I became such a renowned author?"
Kakashi took his gaze from the couple and looked at the knowing smirk upon Jiraiya's face. "Childish infatuation." he waved off.
"Is that so? Then I guess you wouldn't mind if someone else were to try and take her for themselves, huh?"
"Of course not, Em-chan may date whomever she wishes."
"Well that's good to hear, seeing as Taku just kissed her." Within a split second Kakashi had jumped down from his perch and held Taku up against the wall by his throat, Chidori raging from his other hand.
"Touch my woman again and I'll kill you."
"Why don't you just tell her how you feel?" Emma asked Taku as the two unloaded boxes.
Taku shook his head. "I can't do that!"
"Why not? You're a pretty cool guy, and you don't look half bad. Chii would have to be blind and stupid not to go out with you."
"Thanks, but I'd be too embarrassing." the bartender sighed. "I wouldn't know what to say."
"Hey Chii, I was wondering if you'd like to accompany me to dinner one night?" Emma stated in a husky male voice. "The worst that could happen is she'll say no, it's not like she's gunna laugh in your face or anything-Chii is too nice to do that."
"But what if I freeze-up?"
"I'll light you on fire to melt the ice."
Taku laughed slightly. "Okay smart-ass, but what if she says no?"
"You either move on or keep trying." she shrugged.
"It's not that easy…"
Emma sighed. "Nothing in life worth having is ever easy. However, if you'd like, I'll pretend to be Chii for you."
"What'll that do?"
"It'll help you get more confident."
"You can't possibly be THAT dense!" Emma laughed. "Okay, I take it from your reaction that you are that dense. Look, I'll try to make this as easy as I can. I'll pretend to be Chii, you ask me out, and I'll give you my answer. Doing this will help you practice asking her out and to gain confidence doing so. Got it?"
Taku nodded. "I can do that…I think."
"Good, now ask me out."
Clearing his throat, Taku bent over slightly and held her hand. "Chii, I would be eternally grateful if you would do me the honor of accompanying me to dinner tonight." Upon saying this, he kissed Emma on the hand.
"Laying it on thick aren't you?" Emma joked. Taku grimaced. "Okay, okay…I, Chii, would be honored to-" Before Emma could finish her statement Kakashi came flying in and pinned Taku to the wall.
"Touch my woman again and I'll kill you." growled the scarecrow, sparks of lightening emanating from his hand.
"If this about Taku falling on Cho, it was an accident-I saw it myself!" Emma stated, grabbing Kakashi's arm that was holding Taku.
The jounin turned to look at her, confusion and slight pain showing in his face. "Cho?" he asked, dropping the bartender and suppressing Chidori. She thought he was upset about what happened to Cho?
"You see, Taku was carrying a tray and didn't see this bag on the floor…" Emma stated.
Just then Jiraiya walked over to the three. "Excuse me, but I don't believe that's what Kakashi was talking about." he smiled sheepishly. The Sannin never expected the Copy-Cat to act the way he did.
"Then what?" Emma asked, looking between the two men.
Jiraiya chuckled, rubbing the back of his head. "You wanna tell her Kakashi, or should I?"
"Tell me what?" Emma asked, gazing at the scarecrow. "What's this about?" What was this about? It'd been several weeks since Kakashi last thought about Emma; he thought he was over her. So then why did he react the way he did? It didn't make sense. Unless…
"I was, uh…kinda jealous." he stated above a whisper.
"But why? Taku likes Chii, not Cho."
"It's not about Chii or Cho, it's about you."
"About me? What did I do?" Emma asked, unsure of how she upset him.
The jounin sighed, suddenly finding the floor the most entertaining thing to look at. "It's not about anything you did, not really. It's about, well…you see…"
Emma stepped closer to Kakashi, bending over to look up at his face. "Yes?"
'Why can't life be like an Icha Icha book?'
"Kakashi? What's wrong?" Emma asked, worried.
"I think we should give these two some room." Jiraiya stated, helping Taku up and walking him into the back of the bar. Emma watched as the two men left, leaving her alone with the scarecrow.
Unsure of what to do or say, Emma suddenly felt rather uncomfortable. "I don't know what it was I did or didn't do to upset you but-"
"Please, just give me a chance and I know I can make you happy, happier then Taku ever could."
"Taku?" Emma questioned. "Who says I want Taku?"
"Well, then why did you kiss him?"
"Kiss Taku?! Are crazy?! I've never kissed anybody before!"
"But he just kissed you a few minutes ago!"
Emma looked at the jounin, trying hard to make sense of he just said. "You mean when I was helping Taku and he kissed me on the hand?"
"He kissed you…on the hand? Not the lips?" Kakashi asked, making a mental note to throttle the Pervy Sage the next time he saw him.
"Uh…no, that would just be gross. Why would I kiss-?" Just then her sentence was interrupted by Kakashi pinning her against the wall as his lips collided with her own. Surprised to say the least, Emma froze as her heart raced, unsure of how to respond. Before she could do anything she felt his hand reach up and cup her breast as his tongue brushed against her lips, begging for entrance.
"Kakashi, what are-" she tried to speak, only to be cut-off by the jounin's tongue as it entered her mouth. His kiss was tense and passionate, it felt as though he was trying to drain the life from her very being. However, before she knew it he broke the kiss and began to plant firm yet gentle kisses along her collarbone. Breathing in deeply, almost gasping for air, Emma tried in vein to stop her head from spinning even more then it already was.
"I want you." Kakashi growled, his voice husky as he began to nibble on her right ear. "I want you for myself, I won't let anyone else have you." Pulling away slightly, Kakashi looked Emma in her eyes. "I want to make you mine." He then grabbed her butt with one hand and lifted her up against the wall, pulling her closer until she felt his hardened member between her legs. Thank Kami they were both fully dressed!
Swallowing hard, Emma tried her best to answer. "Yes, well…I, um…"
"UGH!" Before either one knew it a kunai lodged itself into Kakashi's back.
"Now, isn't this touching?" came a voice from the shadows. "I hate to ruin such a touchingly romantic moment, but I've got a job to do." Emma watched in shock as the scarecrow turned around, kunai still in his back, and took a protective stance in front of her.
"Stay close!" he whispered. "And when I say so, run inside to safety and get help."
"O-okay!" she stammered, nodding.
In a flash a shadowed figure came springing at Kakashi, shuriken wooshing ahead, but the jounin was able to block the attack just in the nick of time.
'If I didn't know any better, I'd say this guy was a member of the Foot!' Emma thought, remembering watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in her youth. 'The only difference is that his mask looks like Slade's from Teen Titians.' Emma watched in awe as the two shinobi battled it out a mere foot or two before her. Her eyes darted between the two men's figures as thoughts of some kind of impending doom lurked within her mind.
"Now Emma, go!"
"B-but what about you?"
"I'll be fine, just go-NOW!" Nodding in recognition, Emma did as Kakashi instructed and bolted for the door. Just as her hand touched the knob a hand covered her mouth, muffling her screams, while another snaked around her waist.
"Say a word and I'll have my friend up there kill your lover." the person holding her hissed, then turned her head towards another shadowed figure perched atop an adjacent rooftop with what looked like a shotgun aimed towards Kakashi. Eyes widened in shock, Emma nodded her head in understanding as the person thrust her over their shoulder and took to the roofs.
Suddenly, Kakashi was thrown into a wall by the rogue nin, making his breath hitch as the kunai delved deeper into his back, although his vest stopped it some, it still pierced a few inches in. He took hold of it and stood up while glaring at the man. Tearing it out of his back, he whipped it at the enemy. With expertise, the rouge dodged easily and took out a few shuriken before throwing them at Kakashi. Kakashi, in turn, dodged but just barely. Pulling his forehead protector up, he activated the sharingan and glared fiercely.
"What do you want with her?!" he yelled.
The man smirked, "Like I'd tell you!" he snapped. Kakashi growled and ran at him with Chidori and tried striking his opponent. The man dodged again and jumped into the air while doing a few hand-seals. "Dragon, wolf fire-blast!" and blew, Kakashi's eyes widened and he jumped out of the way, his leg being grazed lightly by said flame; he put it out quickly and looked back. The man was smirking smugly while Kakashi panted slightly and he stood at the top of a pole while watching Kakashi move. "The famous Scarecrow...already using your sharingan on me, I'm honored," he said sarcastically. Kakashi glared and took out a kunai and flung it at him before jumping into the air and doing some hand-seals.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" he multiplied and they all attacked at the same time, each one being off'd by the enemy nin.
"I was hoping for more than that," the rouge said dryly. Kakashi was actually creeping behind him but he turned and struck Kakashi in the stomach with a kunai before frowning when it turned out to be a log.
"Replacement jutsu...crap," he growled and looked around. Kakashi came back with his Chidori again and just barely grazed the enemy's side. His opponent countered with his Earth-Shatter blow. Off in the distance, a mini-army of other nin took the microscopic earthquake as initiative to start the diversion. They stormed the Hokage's building. Once the call had been made, almost every nin was fighting at the battle. The one that had Emma nodded at the other nin that had the rifle and he nodded back before cocking the gun and Emma let out a muffled "No!" before biting down onto his hand and grabbing a rock before throwing it at said rifle user and just as he was about to shoot, it hit him on the side of the face, making his fire go off balance.
"Why you little...!" he grabbed her and knocked her out before hightailing it to the gate and out of the village. Kakashi heard the fire and looked around, seeing the bullet hole a few feet from his head, his eyes widened slightly before a flurry of senbon made their way down and onto him. He let out a pained groan and swore under his breath before looking around, trying to determine the source of said attack. Seeing his opponent's chakra, he did a few hand-seals again and positioned another attack with Chidori before the rogue appeared again and had his Earth-Shatter blow. They both struck at the exact same time to make a ricochet and flung them both back into the street and into an alley. The rouge stood up shakily, being thrown into a wall and then looked as Kakashi stood up also, a bit more so that himself though. He smirked and watched as Kakashi ran at him again with another kunai, jumping into the air and throwing a group of shuriken and then kunai down into the ground.
"Pathetic!" he spat but Kakashi did another hand-seal, jumped onto the roof and waited for the one exploding tag to detonate. It did...and the enemy ninja was sent sailing into the street before he growled and ran back into the alleyway and jumping up and onto the roof. Kakashi did another jutsu, thus causing mist to form around them. The enemy ninja looked around and then laughed out loud. "You think this little hiding technique will work on ME?!" he yelled and took out the rest of his kunai, shuriken and senbon before starting to spin in a circle, causing the mist to stir and thus making a mini-tornado as the weapons were flung out in all directions.
Kakashi was on the ground and looking at all the weapons above him. He jumped up, saw the cyclone and his eyes widened when he saw a scythe coming straight at him. He flipped in the air, caught said weapon and then used Kage Bunshin again and collected some of the weapons before the mist cleared completely and his opponent jumped out and tried slashing Kakashi across the chest with a metallic claw. Kakashi countered by holding up the scythe and blocking said attack and trying to decapitate the rouge. "Tell me your name!" he growled out as they were in the air still.
The man smirked, "My opponent wishes to know my name...? It's Nobuo," he said and pushed away before flipping back onto the roof.
Kakashi landed on top of a tree and still held the scythe. "Your mother went the wrong way with your name...you're far from noble!" he snarled. Nobuo growled and jumped at him again while Kakashi did the same. They both clashed again but Nobuo took out a kunai and struck Kakashi in the stomach, this time Kakashi did not turn into a log. He gasped at the intrusion and his eyes widened in bewilderment. When they landed, Kakashi flipped away from Nobuo and went back into the alleyway in fear of injuring anyone. Nobuo followed and Kakashi turned back around.
"There's no hiding from me Hatake!" he called shrilly. Kakashi held his stomach where the kunai still resided and looked around for an escape or an idea as to what to do. Seeing the door, he frowned when he heard someone approaching. He quickly went back to work of fighting and Nobuo was already waiting. Kakashi took out a kunai and thrust it into Nobuo's side. Nobuo jumped and Kakashi jumped as well, they both did hand-seals at the exact same time and Nobuo glared.
"STOP COPYING ME!" he yelled and did his Earth-Shatter blow jutsu, as did Kakashi once more. They both hit each other, Kakashi getting hit in the stomach and Nobuo getting grazed by the blast on his side. They both fell to the ground and stood up. Kakashi fell to one knee and groaned. Just when Nobuo thought he won, the door swung open and Jiraiya stepped out with two women on either side of him. He was laughing whole-heartedly before Kakashi looked up.
"Jiraiya, GET OUT OF HERE!" he yelled and made a pained sound half way between a gasp and a yell. The two women screamed and ran back inside the club and Jiraiya growled.
"I WAS JUST ABOUT TO GET WITH THEM!" he yelled and generated the rasengan, running at Nobuo, he thrust it into Nobuo's chest, just barely missing his heart. Nobuo swore out loud and then held his chest as well as his side while flipping backwards and landing a few feet away.
"A Sannin, ne?" he muttered before glaring at Kakashi. "You're lucky this time..." he smirked. "We've got the girl," he added before teleporting out of there and somewhere safe.
As she ran through the treetops alongside Jiraiya and Kakashi, Chii's mind wandered back to the events of earlier that day.
"The Hokage will see you now, Mr. Hatake." Kakashi got up and swiftly entered into the next room, a hidden rage burning in his eyes.
"Is it just me, or does it seem like Kakashi is taking this personally?" Chii asked as the door slammed behind the peeved Jounin.
"What do you expect?" Jiraiya stated. "That was HIS woman they took."
Chii glanced over questionably at the Sanin. "What?"
"You mean you didn't notice?"
Jiraiya laughed. "It seems as though Konoha's infamous Copy Ninja has claimed Em-chan as his own."
"But…I thought she wasn't his type, you know?"
"Of course, what would Kakashi want with a woman who shares his sense of humor, hasn't bothered him about his mask, seems almost as broken inside as he is, and who's fun to be around?"
"That's not what I meant." Chii frowned.
"Em-chan might not be as voluptuous and easy as the girls in the books he reads, which are best sellers mind you, but from what I can tell those two share some kind of bond, a sense of not belonging."
Chii nodded. "You know, for such a perv you sure are surprisingly sensitive."
"Does that mean you'd like to accompany me back to my hotel room tonight?" Jiraiya smirked.
"I'll take that as a maybe." Jiraiya laughed, rubbing his cheek where Chii had left her fist imprinted.
'Em-chan might not be as voluptuous and easy as the girls in the books he reads…but from what I can tell those two share some kind of bond, a sense of not belonging.' Jiraiya's words played back in her head. She'd never really thought about it before, but Kakashi did seem to hide a sense of loneliness and sorrow within his usually cheerful self. 'Maybe he still hasn't gotten over the loss of his father, Obito, and Rin yet?'
Though nobody ever really talked about it much, the incidents were known to those old enough to remember. And though he'd tried hard to hide it even back then, it was obvious to everyone that the loss of those people had affected him greatly. 'He always seems so calm and happy though. And although I was in the hospital for a while there, I can't ever remember seeing Em-chan cry.' she thought. They both acted so normal, like nothing was wrong.
'But now that I think about it, it should've been more obvious. After all, Kakashi has lost all those closest to him, and Em-chan's family was killed by rouge nins. How hard must the two of them work to appear one way on the outside, while they're really feeling quite the opposite inside?' Chii sighed, feeling quite sorry for her two friends, as she picked up the pace to catch up with her traveling companions. 'It's no wonder Kakashi likes her, they're the same. But, does Em-chan feel the same way? What am I saying? Of coarse she does! Kakashi is Konoha's #1 bachelor, who wouldn't like him?'
Meanwhile, in Anei…
"Don't give me that! It WAS yours after all! If anybody would know how it works, you should!"
Emma moaned in pain as the man slapped her once again. "I already told you, I don't! Do I look like a fuck'n mechanic to you?" For three days she'd been confined to this hellhole. A room little bigger then a one car garage, with cold stone walls and floors. A pile of dirt and rubble in one corner proved to be somewhat of a bed for her, while she was stripped of her clothing-forced to remain naked and occasionally fed Lord only knows what with what tasted like muddy water to drink.
"You lie!" the man screamed, picking her up by the throat. "Tell me the truth or I'll kill you now!"
"Then kill me and get it over with already, damn it!" she cried, tears escaping. With little hope remaining that her new friends would mount a rescue and come to save her, Emma had been wishing for a release from this mortal coil since she got here. Her back was aching from her "bed", she was starving and thirsty, she had dirt in places she never knew she had, and she was covered in wounds inflicted by this jackass who spent countless hours interrogating her about things she didn't know to begin with. Questions about how she got here, how to build/work her laptop, technical things about her car, etc. If it wasn't one thing it was another.
"Perhaps I will, wretch!" the man spat, his grip on her throat tightening until she fell into unconsciousness. "But not now-no-for now you will live, as is the wish of Lord Yokoshima." A cruel smirk playing across his face, the man tossed Emma's limp body onto the pile of rubble and exited out the door.
"See to her wounds." he commanded a soldier. "We don't want our little guest dying on us just yet."
'How long have I been here?' she wondered, huddled in her corner. Was it days? Weeks maybe? She couldn't tell for sure. All sense of time and what little was left her sanity had been virtually whipped away by that man, that vile and despicable excuse for a human being. For the past few days or so his interrogations techniques had taken a drastic step forward, or was it backwards? In either case, Emma frequently found herself being subjected to some kind mind-altering technique. He called it his Spirit Chain Attack (Kokoro Rensa no Jutsu), but it reminded her more of the Vulcan Mind-Meld technique in the way it was preformed.
Basically all he had to do was make some special hand seals and come into physical contact with any part of her body, usually her chest or head, and then he had almost total access to her mind. Her thoughts and memories were his to know, and her mind was his to mold into what he so wished. Kinda like the Sharingan technique Itachi used on Kakashi and Sasuke. The pain was unbearable, often causing her to pass-out in a cold sweat. Often times she thought she might actually be dead, the only indication that she was still alive was the constant pain surging throughout her entire body. If it only it was the physical pain, she could've endured that much better, but it was the way this sick fuck toyed with her emotions that made Emma wish for sweet death. 'What a relief that would be!' Just then she was ripped from her mangled thoughts as the door to her prison opened, reveling the face of her perpetual tormentor smirking from ear to ear.
"Time to play." he snickered, quickly crossing the room and pushing her roughly against the wall. The next thing she knew Emma was being transported across time and space to her life growing-up in grade school. The faces off those that hurt her, the looks they gave her, the vicious names they called her, the loneliness that not even her friends and family knew, and that feeling of worthlessness she felt those countless nights she cried herself to sleep. How she had fought so hard to not show her true feelings, to be as cheerful and happy as she could possibly pretend to be. Tears started to roll down her cheeks as the boy she once fawned appeared before her. For seven years she'd secretly admired him from afar. Then, on the day they were to receive their diplomas, she'd decided to confront him.
"I-I love you." she said, glancing at her feet. His reply was to laugh at her.
"Yeah well, why in the world would I want to be with a loser like you?" he spat. As tears poured from her eyes unrestrained, a different image appeared before her…Kakashi. That night that seemed so long ago, the night he confessed his true feelings for her. As she watched from outside her body she saw the kiss they'd shared. Only, it was different this time. As the figures of Kakashi and herself pulled away her face turned into that of Chii's.
'But, I thought…' Just then Chii and Kakashi turned towards her, just now realizing her.
"Oh Emma, I have the greatest news!" squealed Chii. "Kakashi proposed, and I said yes! We're gonna get married!" Emma looked on in shock as Chii presented her with the engagement ring adorning her ring-finger.
"Oh." Emma sighed heavily, forcing as sincere a smile as she could muster-up. "I'm so happy for you two." She watched as the happy couple held each other and kissed before saying their good-byes to her. She stood there for quite some time, watching as their figures slipped farther and farther away. 'How stupid could I've been!' she laughed half-heartedly. 'To think that anybody could actually like, let alone LOVE, me-ME! What a laugh! I was delusional to ever think that Kakashi could, that he could ever…' Once again tears poured down her face unchecked as she fell to her knees and started to cough she cried so hard.
'Oh, poor Emma…' came that voice, his voice. 'To be alive when nobody wants you to be, how horrible that be!' he teased her.
'Shut up, leave me alone!' she screamed. 'I've done nothing to you-NOTHING! Just please, leave me alone!'
'Now what kind of fun would that be?' Thus began several straight hours of pure, unadulterated torture.
For the last two days Kakashi and his team had spent every waking moment rushing ever closer to the Anein village. When they stopped it was only for a few hours, and only to eat and rest. Of course it was only Chii and Jiraiya who did any actual resting, Kakashi was too busy brooding to himself about how he let some enemy ninja get the best of him and take off with HIS woman. 'Just I finally figure out how I feel, and I actually admit it to her! I thought maybe this was it, my chance to actually be happy again, but then…'
"UGH!" Kakashi screamed as he punched a tree and sent it sailing back several feet.
"Kakashi, are you alright?" Chii asked, bringing him over his dinner. He turned around, a glimmer of unchecked rage flickering in his eyes before he quickly regained his usual air of aloofness.
"Don't worry about me Chii, I'll be fine." he smiled faintly. "It's Em-chan you should be worrying about."
"I am, everyone else is too. Jiraiya, Naruto, Sakura, Gai, Lee, Hokage-sama, Iruka, and even Sasuke-though you wouldn't know it, they're all worried about her. Em-chan might be new in the village, and she's defiantly different-but she's still a friend, that's why we're here. And we're gonna get her back Kakashi, no matter what-I promise."
"I know, thanks."
"That's okay, just trying to help out a friend."
"How much longer until we're ready?"
"According to my estimates we're currently ahead of schedule, it shouldn't be much longer, Lord Yokoshima."
"Make sure of that, lest your son's life means nothing to you." Lord Yokoshima stated with a cold, cruel smirk upon his face as he gazed upon the results of his well planned scheme.
"Yes Sir, will do. And what of our captive?"
"What of It?"
"Well Sir, we've learned all we can from that one. I'm afraid she's far too broken to recover any more useful information."
"I have no use for a worthless piles of bones, tell your brother to dispose of her as he wishes."
Chii and Jiraiya both placed explosive tags on two of their clones, sent them to permeate the building silently and then the two real shinobi looked at each other before activating the explosives. Utter chaos ensued as villagers rushed towards safety, panicking in the streets. As the group of shinobi infiltrated the walls, they made multiple clones of themselves, and Kakashi broke off from the group to go in search of Emma. Meanwhile one of the Aneian guards nearby spotted the group and made a few clones of himself. The guard took out weapon after weapon, as did his clones, and threw them with vigor. Jiraiya and Chii took out their own weapons, threw them at the enemy shinobi, who was in the air, and their weapons clattered to the ground. Chii, who rarely got angry, glowered at her enemy as he landed back onto the ground with a small thud.
"You are all fools to think that you could so blatantly attack this village!" the guard stated. Jiraiya's clones started generating the Rasengan, as did he, and they all ran at him. The shinobi's eyes widened slightly but he did a hand-seal and quickly did a replacement jutsu before they hit. Jiraiya cursed under his breath and looked around. Standing in the shadows, the Aneian solder used a genjutsu to mask his presence before Chii spotted him and threw senbon at him.
He dispelled the jutsu before jumping out and doing a series of hand-seals. "Water clone jutsu!" he made several of his own pathetic clones before they all charged at Chii and Jiraiya's clones; many other shinobi and guards were showing up by now. The Aneian guard smirked. "Now you'll learn the price of your actions!"
Kakashi passed by the ruckus virtually unnoticed and followed the faint trace of Emma's familiar chakra, although she thought she had none. Ducking past a group of guards headed towards the gate, he came upon a stone building etched in the side of a small cliff. Knocking out the two guards outside, he went inside and found a bolted door. He glared at the door with all his might, foolishly thinking that it'd help but found that no, it didn't.
Finally using a superb unlocking jutsu with only a chakra-infused hair pin, (where he got it from who knows,) and opened the door. Rushing in, he closed the door behind-for God only knows the reason why-and scanned the room quickly until he saw her… Huddled into the fetus position, bloodied with lacerations all over her body, and as of which, was naked.
He couldn't help but stare at her in awe of both wonder and fear of her life. He'd heard stories of how the Aneians treated their captives, but never did think they could be so cruel as to cause this kind of damage. Shaking off his shock, Kakashi quickly strode over and knelt down.
"Emma … Emma … Emma!" he touched her shoulder gently and she jerked away, shuddering violently. 'What've they done to you?' he wondered, anger building-up even more inside him. Picking her up gently, Kakashi held Emma to his body where she fought for a while before finally giving in to the exhaustion. He looked down at her pityingly before shaking himself out of it as the door sounded with a bolt-lock being removed.
He became ridged as it slowly creaked open and Nobuo slowly entered, smirking at the infuriated look Kakashi gave him. "Ah…Hatake Kakashi, nice to see you again," he said, once again smirking as he got a growl in return. "Oh, your woman…yes…I see you've found her in the state I left her in last night? It's really amazing how much physical and mental pain the human body can endure, quite fascinating. And it is such a nice day for a little torture, isn't it?" he smiled widely as he did his hand-seals for his dreaded Soul Chain attack.
"AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!" Emma let out a high-pitch wail of pain as the images went through her mind and she went limp again, tears streaming down her face. Kakashi let out a loud, animalistic growl and took a few kunai out of his holster with difficulty, but non-the-less did it. He threw them angrily at Nobuo.
"Ah-ah-ah…" Nobuo smiled cruelly as he held his hands up in the last hand-seal of the Soul Chain assault again. Kakashi stopped in his next attack and glared resentfully at him. "Normally I'd have to be in physical contact with my subjects for the attack to actually work, but as I noticed the other day, it seems that I've been able to maintain a mental link with this woman. Interesting, don't you think?" Nobuo smirked as Kakashi continued to stair at him with pure hatred in his eyes.
"Of course since I've only just discovered this I've yet to learn the full extent of our little link, but I'm looking forward to learning more about this…intriguing turn of events." Nobuo chuckled. "I just hopes she survives long enough for me to do so." Thoroughly pissed, Kakashi quickly did a couple of hand-seals and made several clones of himself and Emma while Nobuo watched in amusement.
"How quaint, you still wish to fight me even when you know you'll loose. But in all seriousness, all I have to do is one little movement with my hands and poof…your clones will just…poof away!" he sounded slightly eccentric as Kakashi's clones ran at him, all of which had Emma's in his arms. His hand moved and all the Emma's mimicked the real one, all let out cries of excruciating pain.
Meanwhile, Kakashi was having a hard time not just putting her down for one second and punishing Nobuo's whole being for hurting her so much but he knew he had a duty to keep her safe from this sicko's evil clutches. His anger mounted as the clones poofed away, just as Nobuo had said. "You're really quite stupid, you know that Scarecrow? You couldn't beat me last time, and then you weren't holding some worthless wretch!" he laughed evilly. Kakashi growled, gritting his teeth as he readied more shuriken.
The ground shook and there was a loud noise outside that drew Nobuo and Kakashi's attention for a second before the wall busted down, making Nobuo jump out of the way instead of being crushed. Jiraiya's toad stomped in, looking around the room.
"Found them!" the toad bellowed. Jiraiya looked round and glared down at Nobuo before generating the Resangan again and jumped down. Nobuo rolled out of the way and jumped up, away from the two Leaf Shinobi.
"You again?" Nobuo grimaced.
Jiraiya glared down at Nobuo who had landed on his feet ("Crouching Tiger" position) before looking at Kakashi, "Get out of here and I'll distract him!" he said harshly.
Kakashi gave him a stubborn look, "No, you get out of here and take Emma to safety. I'll handle this sick bastard myself!" he snarled. Jiraiya frowned deeply at him.
"Kakashi…" his voice was firm, "Emma is not my woman, she's yours…and you're in no condition to fight…especially if Emma's like that!" he didn't falter and his harsh tone made Kakashi look down before frowning once again behind his mask.
"Leaving so early? But the party's just getting started." Nobuo said in mock hurt. Kakashi glared at the Aneian, how he'd love to kill him right now. But as much as he hated to admit it, Jiraiya was right. He was of no use to anybody right now, not in the state his mind and Emma's body were in. The best thing he could do now was to get her away from here, back to the village, and straight to the hospital.
"Fine…but leave him alive because I want to finish him off!" he stated, holding Emma closer to himself as he went to the hole in the wall and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Jiraiya smirked down at Nobuo cruelly, cracking his knuckles while a shadow appeared over his eyes.
"I'll do my best not to kill you before Kakashi gets his chance. As for now, I think I'm gunna enjoy this!" he said before he appeared before Nobuo, grabbed his neck and prepared to lay the smack-down on him.